Creature vs Creature: WWE's Lita and Trish Stratus, Greatest Rivalry of All Time
Here I am once again with a new article. Back to my customary form, it's regarding divas.
However, this one is a slight departure from my usual format, as I am entered in the latest Creature vs Creature contest!
Lita and Trish Stratus.
Those two names mean a lot in the world of professional wrestling, not only in terms of female performers and the WWE in particular, but to the sport as a whole.
What can I say about the two legendary divas that hasn't already been said? Both started with the WWE in early 2000, both were amazing in the squared circle and both held the Women's Championship multiple times (Lita four times, Trish a record-breaking seven).
Both were groundbreaking in the industry, especially the amazing high-flying Lita.
They also had what I believe to be the greatest pro-wrestling rivalry of all time.
It all started in the summer of 2000. While they were both still relative newcomers to the WWE and were managing their own respective tag teams—Trish managing T&A (Test and Albert) and Lita the Hardy Boyz—a little rivalry between the two divas was born.
Although Trish could barely wrestle back in those days, things were still interesting nonetheless. She had a natural knack for entertaining you when she got on the mic to cut a promo.
Trish was cocky, cool and self-assured—a natural heel. She was so good, the fans wanted to boo her.
Then, there was Lita. The fiery redhead was, without a doubt, the most over babyface diva in the company at this point, even toppling the mighty Chyna. Her never-say-die attitude and daredevil in-ring maneuvers made her a fan favorite, and at the very start of the rivalry, we all wanted to see her beat the living hell out of Trish Stratus!
In these earliest days, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley was even brought into the mix to further fuel the Lita vs. Trish feud. She was the Women's champion, and Lita was gunning for the title, only to have her dream snuffed out thanks to Stratus' interference.
The two were still feuding by the end of the year, until Trish moved onto other things (a kayfabe affair with Vince McMahon and feud with Stephanie), but they managed to pick things up again by 2004.
That's the thing about these two—no matter how many times they appeared as allies (think their feud with Molly Holly and Gail Kim and the one with Chris Jericho and Christian that led to the Battle of the Sexes match at Armageddon in 2003), it always seemed to come back to Trish and Lita being enemies.
Perhaps the most entertaining chapter of their rivalry was in the midst of Lita's love triangle storyline with Matt Hardy and Kane, in which she found herself pregnant with the latter's child. Poor, tormented Lita not only had to deal with losing her true love and "giving herself" (for lack of a better term) to a monster to spare him physical agony, but on top of all of that, she had to contend with constant taunting from Stratus.
Week after week, Trish would show up to cause further misery for the heartbroken redhead.
She pulled a nasty stunt in which she feigned concern for her one-time friend, pretending Kane was right behind Lita, then laughed it up. Lita, in response, launched herself on Trish and punched her out until the two were separated by Hardy and Tyson Tomko, Stratus' bodyguard.
Eventually, Lita was forced to marry Kane on RAW after Matt Hardy lost to him at SummerSlam that same year (with the match's stipulation of course being that the winner would wed Lita). Once again, Trish Stratus proved herself a thorn in the blushing bride's side as she appeared at the wedding in a white negligee, declaring herself the bridesmaid. The sarcastic taunting sent Lita over the edge, and she attacked her nemesis yet again.
As things continued on this way, Lita issued a threat to Trish, one she intended on making sure was a promise: Once she had her baby, she was going to make sure to face her in the ring and take the Women's Championship from her.
Even after Lita suffered a kayfabe miscarriage, Trish was still there to cause trouble, making fun of how she looked, claiming the high-flyer still bore some of her previous pregnancy weight. Again, it led to a big brawl, and we could all see that Lita meant business!
This was even more evident at Survivor Series shortly after, when the match between the two divas never really got underway, as it was more of a beatdown on Trish at the hands of Lita. The title didn't change hands, as the referee ended up disqualifying the redhead, who'd been pushed way past her patience, after choking Trish on the outside and leaving her with a bloody, broken (kayfabe) nose.
It was downright brutal, and I'll admit to feeling sorry for Trish for real, because I wasn't sure that she wasn't truly hurt!
Finally, on the December 6, 2004 episode of RAW, Lita got to take her revenge, as she got another shot against Stratus in the main event match, no less! It was incredible to see the heated rivalry finally come to a head, and Lita took the sickest bump I've ever seen in my 23 years as a wrestling fan when she performed a suicide dive to the outside (and damn near re-broke her neck!)
Both divas gave us their best, and I felt all warm and fuzzy inside—especially when Lita won at the end. She had put Trish in her place and fulfilled her promise in capturing the Women's Championship.
The two awesome divas met up a few more times, very sparingly in 2005, but by late summer/fall of 2006, they picked up their years-long rivalry yet again. Only this time, things were a bit more intriguing because Lita was the heel while Trish was the babyface, something we'd never seen before.
The Trish vs. Lita story ironically ended when Trish, who was retiring in September of that year, promised she would go out by winning the Women's title against her foe.
Lo and behold, she did exactly that.
Overall, every time these two legendary divas met up, it was a treat. They made great friends but were even better enemies...or, rather, frenemies.
The chemistry they had together was unbeatable in the WWE's women's division. Perhaps the fact that Amy Dumas and Patricia Stratigias are great friends in real life is the reason.
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